I've Been on Call for Two Weeks
And I'm a bit overwhelmed. Okay, more than a bit.
- •I've given bad news countless times.Today, for example: a 60's-ish woman with lung cancer who thought she was cured and who actually has cancer in her brain now; a college student who has cancer and may be infertile because of the treatment of it; a grandmother with lymphoma that has spread to her brain. And at least 10 others.
- •I've walked 3-4 miles every day, most of them in heels, and my legs are exhausted.I could wear flats, but those can be boring.
- •I don't have time for barre classes.Which makes me sad, because I've become completely hooked on them. I hope to go Sunday afternoon, if I don't get called in.
- •I'm working with some fantastic residents and interns and oncology fellows.Teaching is one of my favorite parts of my job in academics.
- •I can't stop thinking about my father's death, which happened 2 years ago tomorrow.He spent many days, including several of his last, in my hospital. There are memories on almost every floor.
- •I'm tired. I don't sleep well.For 2 full weeks, I wake every two hours- either because I've been paged or because I'm dreaming of my patients. Or because I have to pee. Or some combination.
- •I'm so behind in my emails.My days are filled with rounding on inpatients, rounding on consults (newly diagnosed cancer patients mostly), managing crises, and writing notes, that my email inbox just grows and grows.
- •I have no work-life balance. It's all work.
- •As hard as these two weeks are, I love what I do. I can't even refer to it as a job. It's a calling. I can't imagine doing anything else.
- •I'll be glad when March 1st arrives.Back to normal working hours. Back to full nights' sleep. Back to family dinners and cooking. Back to my clinic patients. Back to regular exercise.